Baseball America continued with their lists of the best prospects by each position on Monday morning after posting the first three positions last week. The Pirates had Mason Martin on the first base list after coming up empty for catchers. Kevin Kramer was on the second base list on Friday.
Monday was the top third basemen and both Ke’Bryan Hayes and Colin Moran made the list of the top 20 at the position. BA gave the position four stars out of five for strength of the group this year. Hayes ranked seventh, while Moran is in 15th place.
The interesting part about Hayes being seventh is that he is one spot below Michael Chavis. When BA did their top 100 prospects list, Hayes wasn’t on it, but Chavis ranked 85th on the list. So unless they consider the difference between the two players to be large, it looks like Hayes just missed BA’s top 100 list. He just missed MLB Pipeline’s top 100, and ranked as the 61st best prospect for Keith Law. Pipeline only went ten deep on their best by position lists and it didn’t include Hayes (or Moran), but they did give him the lone honorable mention at the end of the article.
Moran looks to be the obvious favorite to start at third base for the Pirates this year after they acquired him in the Gerrit Cole trade. If Hayes continues to develop on offense, then he could man the position for the Pirates by mid-2019 or 2020 at the latest. Even if Moran hits in the majors, there is a big difference in defense between the two players, so he could be moved off of the position. It’s obviously far from certain that both will reach their peak, but if they do, it’s a great problem for the Pirates to have within a couple of years.